Getting to know what it is like to live in Turkey is very different to the experience of going there on holiday. Before you make the big jump, here are some of the upsides and downsides to living in this beautiful Mediterranean country.
Turkey has been attracting expats for years. In particular, there are now many British expats who have built up sizeable communities in various areas, especially on the Southern coast. Having an expat community around you can be a real advantage as you can ask others for tips on how to get things done and and recommendations for reliable suppliers and providers. If you are looking to get away from all things British (including the Brits), chose the place you are relocating to carefully.
One of the obvious upsides to living in Turkey is its fabulous weather and picturesque coastline. Today, there are few places in the world that are so affordable to move to and have such stunning landscapes and consistent climate. Turkey is also uniquely positioned as the meeting place of East and West: a fact that has a huge effect on the culture and history of the country. In very few places will you see native women in revealing outfits next to others covering up with a burka.
Of course there are some negatives to live to Turkey. One of the worst is the bureaucracy; tons of paperwork are required to get through practically every legal process. You will also need to present in person to complete many of the administrative steps. The rules are often not clear and often different officials may have different interpretations of them, even contradicting previous advice. In many cases you will find it necessary to find a 'fixer' who will be able to help you out.
Another complaint is about not being able to get good quality services, especially when it comes to getting things fixed in the home. Many expats identify 'cowboy' tradesmen as one of the biggest paid: people taking money for jobs they will not be able to do or work being completed badly or even dangerously. There is little regulation or possibilities of pursuing them for restitution, so be careful and try to avoid paying up-front. Try to get recommendations from others for reliable providers.
Like anywhere, Turkey has its shortcomings but it’s a fantastic country with a lot to offer the adventurous expatriate.